12 Useful Products for Growing, Preserving and Cooking With Herbs Indoors
Save herbs for home-cooked meals, cute decor and more with these handy gadgets and planters.
No hate on the dried stuff, but there's nothing like cooking with fresh, chopped herbs. The taste and flavor are significantly better, and you don't have to break the bank buying cartons of expensive organic herbs at the grocery store. You can grow common herbs like parsley, rosemary, mint and more at home without a garden or even a green thumb. Seriously, it's easier than you think. Plus, there are nifty gadgets that will help you save and preserve herbs so nothing gets wasted. If you're ready to up your game from canned flakes to flavorful, fresh herbs, check out our favorite products below for growing, cooking and freezing herbs at home.
No yard? No problem. The AeroGarden Harvest is designed for growing herbs indoors. You don't even need sunlight. This little hydroponic wonder is kind of like a Keurig but for plants. All you need is water, fertilizer, plant pods (that seriously look like K-cups) and time. And just like a Keurig, it tells you what to put in and when, so there's no worry about over- or under-watering. It's the perfect garden for a novice, but pros will love it, too. Even our own expert gardener, Kelly Smith Trimble, owns one, and she loves it!
While it's tempting to throw all of your produce in the veggie drawer, that can cut the shelf-life of your food in half. Some refrigerated items, such as asparagus, actually need to stand up in a cup of water like a bouquet of flowers. This method keeps the stems crisper longer, and many herbs need this vertical treatment, too. Keeping herbs watered and upright can help them stay fresh for up to two weeks! The Honey-Can-Do herb preserver is the perfect size for storing multiple herbs together and can fit in most refrigerator door shelves along with your condiments.
One of our favorite ways to save herbs is freezing them with butter or olive oil to use in skillet cooking later. You can use an ice cube tray from the dollar store to create little herbed starter blocks, but if you don’t have a lot of freezer space, the Chef'n SpiceCube Herb Freezer Tray is a lot better for storage. It features four different compartments plus a lid to keep different herbs separated. And the tray is stackable so you can buy multiple trays to store large batches of herbs easily.
Chopping teeny, tiny sprigs is maddening. (I’d rather chop 20 onions, weeping and all.) Cut cooking prep time with a pair of herb scissors. These nifty shears feature five blades to instantly slice through herbs and greens for cooking and garnishing. And at less than $15, they’re easily worth the investment.
While herb scissors offer a speedy way to slice herbs, they may not be the best product if you have arthritis. The Chef’n HerbZoom Mincer, however, is exactly what you need. This little tool rolls around like a computer mouse or a pizza cutter, quickly mincing herbs for cooking. It’s also touted as one of the safest ways to chop herbs and might be a good way to introduce older kids and tweens into cooking prep — with careful monitoring, of course.
We love items that work double-duty, and this tea towel is as practical as it is cute because it’s actually a handy cheat sheet for cooking with herbs. The chart on the towel outlines herb pairings for meat, dairy, veggies and more. It also makes a great gift!
If you’re a seasoned gardener and you’ve got the space for a larger herb haul, there’s a lot more you can do with herbs beyond cooking. Dried herbs, especially rosemary and sage, make gorgeous wreaths. And a bouquet of dried lavender can deter scorpions in your house. (I learned that first-hand when I lived in Southern France. You should always sleep with lavender under your bed!) This drying rack from Williams Sonoma is as pretty as it is functional. There’s plenty of space for drying herbs upside down plus the design creates a rustic-chic chandelier.
While you could use ice pop sticks as plant markers, we are absolutely swooning over these golden beauties. The brass markers from New York City designer Ariana Ost are handmade from actual herbs by casting them in brass. If gardening is big in your family, these would make a lovely heirloom.
We’re big, big fans of the AeroGarden Harvest, but, if you’d rather have an indoor herb garden the old fashioned way, this little planter set from Anthropologie would look lovely on a kitchen window sill, and right now it’s on sale for less than $40!